Ian Holloway has been comparing the weekend performances of left-footed central midfielders Fabian Delph, of Everton, and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.
Holloway was impressed by Delph in Everton’s 3-2 win over Wolves, but not so much by Xhaka who recklessly gave away a penalty in Arsenal’s 2-2 north London draw with Tottenham.
Speaking on TalkSport, Holloway said: “I’m an ex-midfielder who used to put his foot in where I could – what does [Xhaka] do for Arsenal? Is he a sitting midfielder? Maybe he’s great in the dressing room, maybe he gets the lads going.
“But he just looks like an accident waiting to happen. I’m looking at someone who is the signing of the season for Everton, in Fabian Delph. If Arsenal had Fabian Delph playing the way he did yesterday… Delph read so many things yesterday and I don’t see Xhaka doing that. I’m outraged.”
TBR’s View – Delph comparison is odd, but it’s clear Xhaka isn’t the answer for Arsenal
Holloway, who of course managed in the Premier League with Blackpool during the 2010-11 season, is right in terms of asking what Xhaka does for Arsenal.
Lucas Torreira is a better holding midfielder, Matteo Guendouzi offers more energy and Dani Ceballos offers more craft – but yet it’s Xhaka who looks to have moved into a more senior captaincy role.
The comparison with reported £10 million (BBC) signing Delph is an awkward one – the Englishman is himself a jack of all trades and could not be yet described as a disciplined holding midfielder, and also played in a side who let in two home goals yesterday. Signing of the summer feels high praise indeed at this stage.